Poetry Contest

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2019 poetry contest

FAQs for TCCC’s Annual Poetry Contest


What kind of poems are you looking for?

Any kind of original verse you wish to submit. Free verse, sonnets, haiku, limericks—everything is fair game.

Who can enter?

Any student currently enrolled in a TCCC class can enter.

Do I have to read my poems at Open Mic Poetry Night?

A commitment to read at Open Mic Poetry Night is not required to enter the contest, but we encourage everyone to participate!

How do I sign up to read at Open Mic Poetry Night?

Visit the Writing Center in McSwain Annex 150 or email us at writingcenter@tricountycc.edu.

How many winners are selected?

One grand prize winning poem is selected and usually 2-4 honorable mentions.

How is the poetry judged?

A judging panel of literary-minded faculty and staff is invited to read the poems, which are stripped of identifying information prior to judging. Each judge assigns each poem a rating for overall best quality. The scores are then averaged to determine the highest ratings.

I hear that you publish a poetry anthology. Will my poem(s) appear in it?

Publication of submissions is not guaranteed.

How many poems can I submit?

Up to five poems.

Do I need to tone down language, violence, mature themes, etc. in my work?

We seek thought-provoking work with intellectual depth and recognize that good writing often tests the boundaries of “acceptable” language. However, gratuitous or excessively explicit violent images, strong language, and sexual episodes that distract the reader from more important themes in the work should be avoided.

How do I submit my poems?

Email them to the Writing Center at writingcenter@tricountycc.edu as a Word-compatible file. (No Google Docs or PDFs, please.)

What is the deadline to submit poems?

Monday, March 4.

When and how will contest winners be notified?

All participants in the contest will be notified by Monday, March 25, through the email address used to submit the contest entry.

When is Open Mic Poetry Night?

Thursday, April 4, at 6:00 p.m. in the McSwain Lecture Hall (Room 132).

Is there a time limit for Open Mic Poetry Night readings?

Each student is limited to five minutes per reading. Students may read an excerpt from a longer work in order to fit the time limit, but they should provide some context for the excerpt. Contest winners have the option to read first, followed by students who have signed up in the Writing Center. Then the floor is opened to any student present who wants to read. Students who wish to read a second time may do so if we have time remaining and if all other participants have taken their turn.

May I read a poem by my favorite poet at Open Mic Poetry Night?

Yes, just be sure to include the title and author of the work before you begin reading.